Yesterday marked the official end of the Giants season. In a few short weeks, their title of reigning World Champs will end as well. In a game that was reflective of the season, the Giants lost to the Rockies and Dan Runzler had to fit in one more injury for the team before the season’s end.
But a couple other things came to an end yesterday. The end of the Pat Burrell and Carlos Beltrán era as Giants. Yes, I know, decisions have yet to be made for both of them but the writing is on the wall. For Beltran, he’ll go where the money is, along with the potential to win a World Series. For Burrell, his options are fewer. He’ll either need his bone fused and his career will be over, or he won’t and will attempt to come back as a Giant next season, pinch hitting occasionally. That is, if the Giants even wanted him. He could DH in the AL, but he’s said if he plays next season, he wants to do it as a Giant. Truth of the matter, I doubt Giants fans have seen the last of him. He could be a coach, manager or broadcaster. What better place to do it than your hometown?
So yes, officially, we won’t know until the postseason what will happen to these two guys, but I think they already know, and I think Bochy already knows. Case in point. Yesterday when Beltran left the game, Bochy sent him out to Right Field, only to immediately replace him. He was making it obvious that Beltran was leaving the game. It gave the fans a chance to thank him, cheer for him and attempt to woo him back with their love on his way in the dugout. Sure, he was pulled so he’d maintain his .300 batting average on the season–a classy move by Bochy–but he didn’t need to go out on the field for that.
As for Burrell, the exact same thing happened–except the cheers were a bit louder. He ran out to left field, only to be quickly replaced. He entered the dugout to a standing ovation and cheers. He hugged all the guys in the dugout and then, they sent him back out on the field for the fans to see him again. He tipped his cap, fans went wild, and he re-entered the dugout.
This didn’t happen for Cody Ross. It didn’t happen for Sergio Romo, Brandon Belt, Pablo Sandoval, Brett Pill, Jeff Keppinger, Andres Torres or any other player. There are two reason managers send players out on the field and pull them back in to gain the applause of the crowd. When a player does something special, like Barry Bonds hitting his record breaking homerun, or when it’s the last time you are likely to see them in your team’s uniform. The Giants did it with Bonds too in his last game. He had every intention of playing the following season, but the team had already said it wouldn’t be as a Giant. It’s a classy move for the team, but friends, it signals the end of an era in almost all cases.